At this time of year, many people travel abroad to visit the best Christmas Markets with Germany and Austria high on their list. However, you actually don’t need to venture far to find the best Christmas Markets, as Scotland has plenty to get you into the holiday spirit, and it means the money you save on your air fare can be spent on gifts for loved ones, or a wee treat for yourself…
Here’s our selection of some of the best Christmas Markets happening in Scotland this year where you can toast the festivities with a mulled wine and a pretzel and shop until you drop. How many will you visit this year?
Best Christmas Markets Scotland 2018
The Glasgow Christmas Market at George Square and St Enoch Square was named in the Telegraph’s list of the Best Christmas Markets in Europe in 2018, and it’s not hard to see why. Scotland’s largest city certainly knows how to celebrate so a visit to its Christmas Market – spread over two locations in the city centre – is a must.
For festive food, drink, gifts and family fun, the markets at St Enoch Square (which launches on the 9th November and runs until 23rd December) and George Square (25th November to 31st Decembe) are best. For more on the Glasgow markets, click here.
For one day only, you’re invited to take a stroll around St Andrew’s Christmas For All market at Lower College Lawn (8th December) and to immerse yourself in the most wonderful time of the year. With a range of stalls including arts and crafts, fashion, candles, toys and much more, you’ll find the perfect gifts for loved ones and friends. Visitors can also look forward to a host of other festive treats, including Christmas carols and mulled wine, along with the chance to meet Santa and his reindeer friend.
This free-admission event really does promise a Christmas for All. For more information, click here.
Edinburgh’s popular Christmas Market returns to East Princes Street gardens this November (17th November – 5th January), and as far as Instagram-worthy festive events go, this bustling market is a must-visit. Based near the towering Scott Monument, and romantically done up with hundreds of glittering fairy lights, this German-inspired market offers crafts, gifts and culinary treats.
Grab yourself a mulled wine before perusing the Christmasy stalls, and if you’re looking for more thrills, some fairground rides and an ice skating rink are located conveniently nearby! For more on Edinburgh’s Christmas market, click here.
The Fife town of Cupar is to stage an outdoor Christmas Market as part of its Light Switch On event on 24th November. From 10am to 5pm, you’ll find an assortment of stalls including gifts, jewellery, nibbles and other goodies in the Upper Hall of the Corn Exchange.
Kids will be chuffed to learn that Santa is coming to town – he’ll be in his grotto in The Crossgate Centre, a two-minute walk away from the market, handing out small gifts with no admission fee. For more information on the Cupar at Christmas events, click here.
Now in its eighth year, the Oban Winter Festival (16th to 25th November) returns to the west-coast harbour town of Oban, and is set to be jam-packed with seasonal fun. The town will host a range of festive events including a reindeer parade, choir-singing, skirt-swirling ceilidhs, whisky tasting and Christmas fayres with local food and handmade craft stalls – including the popular Victorian Market. For more information, click here.
Bringing together a range of independent retailers and specialist brands across Scotland, the Tomatin Distillery Christmas Fair (1st December) is must-visit for a spot of Christmas shopping. Set within the visitor centre of the award-winning Scotch distillery, visitors can expect free distillery tours, refreshments and the chance to snap up some very special Christmas gifts. For more information, click here.
Foodies and drink-connoisseurs will be in for a treat this November at the Aberdeen Christmas Market, which will be hosted at the Hilton Doubletree Aberdeen Treetops. The two-day event (9th and 10th November) will offer visitors the chance to sample over 100 varieties of cheese and wine from local and international suppliers.
Christmas cakes, artisan breads, olive oil, chocolate and other delicacies will also be on offer, as well as 24 local craft stalls, where you’ll be sure to find unique gifts for your loved ones. For more information, click here.
For three days (30th November – 2nd December), Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire will play host to a Christmas Art, Craft and Food Festival, where the grand building will serve as a backdrop for an array of festive goodies, including non-alcoholic mulled wine, atmospheric singing and even a visit from Father Christmas in the Billiards room. Stalls of beautiful, handcrafted goods such as artisan jewellery, glass figurines, ceramics, skincare and textiles will be on offer, and hungry-tummies can be satisfied at the food court, which will be overflowing with Christmas confectionery, cheeses, chocolates, delicious pastries and more. For more information on the event, click here.
On 1st December, the annual Kingennie Christmas Market returns to the lush Kingennie Country Resort for a two-day Christmas market featuring hand-picked crafts and local food stalls. The free event offers visitors a cosy, seasonal experience with mulled cider and unique Christmas gifts to browse, from hampers to beautiful artwork and local gins. For more information, click here.
The Ethical Christmas Fair in Dundee’s City Square is well worth a visit this festive period (5th – 22nd December), with over 45 stalls inside a beautifully-decorated marquee, selling gifts such as soaps, knitwear, candles, ceramics and accessories, as well as warm seasonal food and drinks to keep hunger pangs at bay. A family-friendly event, there’s a seated café area and plenty on offer for kids such as Christmas-y crafts and activities, as well as the occasional visit from Santa (keep a look-out!) For more information, click here.
This November (23rd – 25th), Brodie Castle in Forres, Morayshire will be transformed into a colourful Christmas market, bursting with stalls of beautiful crafts and mouth-watering food. The three-day event will be set over two floors of the castle as well as the stables, and will be serving up warm mince pies and mulled wine, alongside luxurious gifts for all the family – including aromatic candles, fine silver jewellery, shortbread and hand-crafted beers. For more information, click here.
Peruse unusual and contemporary gifts at the two-day pop-up Christmas Design Market (November 24th – 25th) at the Civic Hall, Perth. Featuring 42 locally-based makers and designers, visitors will be able to support local talent as well as stock up Christmas treats for friends and family. With jewellery, glass, textiles, photography, art and cards amongst the categories on offer, there’s bound to be something to suit everyone’s tastes. For more information, click here.
Taking place in Kinross High Street, the Festive Street Market and Light Up Kinross event looks to be every inch as successful as previous years. As dusk falls on November 24, visitors can expect a bustling atmosphere with street entertainment, music, hot food and festive stalls, followed by the Light Up celebration at 7pm. For more information, click here.